Storm warnings issued for France as heatwave set to break

Storm warnings issued for France as heatwave set to break
Photo: Emmanuel Pionner/AFP/Meteo France
The late summer heatwave that France is enjoying is predicted to break in spectacular fashion on Wednesday afternoon, with storm warnings issued one third of the country, including the Paris region.

After an unusually cool and damp July and August, France has been basking in temperatures up to 31C over the past week.

However Wednesday sees 32 départements, roughly a third of the country, placed on alert for thunderstorms with torrential rain, the possibility of localised flooding and hail in some areas.

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The storms are predicted to hit on Wednesday afternoon and evening in the départements of Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d’Oise, Allier, Aude, Ariège, Aveyron, Cher, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Eure-et-Loir, Haute-Garonne, Gers, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Nièvre, Hautes-Pyrénées, Sarthe, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Tarn, Tarn-et-Garonne, Haute-Vienne and Yonne. 

French weather forecaster Météo France is predicting very heavy rain in a short time (40 to 60 mm in three to four hours), as well as hail in places and strong gusts of wind (80 to 100 km/h). 

The heaviest rainfall is expected in the northern part of the Aude département and southern Tarn, where 100 to 120mm of rain could fall in three hours.

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